Isn’t it just a given when you become a parent that your kids will have too many toys?
You will tread on them and trip over them and curse the day that you bought them. Then Christmas will roll around again (less than 100 sleeps!) and you’ll buy more and half of them will barely get looked at once the paper is ripped off. But that’s just how it goes, isn’t it?
Well, one mum has had enough. On the UK website Mumsnet, a mother-of-two calling herself CallMeMaybeee asked if she was being unreasonable “to not want my kids to get any toys for Christmas”.
She explained that her daughters were aged one and three and had “lovely” bedrooms.
“At the end of the day, we tidy up the toys and then the toys are out of sight ready for bedtime.”
The woman added that her children didn’t have “millions of toys” because she did regular clear outs and gave the excess toys to charity.
“The truth is, I don’t like the idea of their bedrooms and our living room overflowing with toys,” she said.
“They are well entertained with what they already have. I know my eldest would be devastated if she doesn’t get any toys from Santa so I’ll no doubt go through the motions. I’ve tried telling relatives not to buy any cumbersome toys but I get the feeling that’s going in one ear and out the other.”
Some of the other mums could see where she was coming from.
“Most kids have far too much,” wrote one. “We didn't buy our kids anything for Xmas last year!”
Another added that she dreaded the parents-in-law arriving at Christmas because they brought so many bags full of presents.
“It is generous, but I don't have floor space for it all, and my kids are turning into entitled little brats with high expectations around presents,” she added. “I can still remember my favourite childhood toys. My kids won't.”
However, most felt that the woman was “sucking the joy” out of Christmas.
“One feels sad for your children,” replied one mum. “Poor mites will surely not give a fig about the uncluttered space when they are discussing toys at school.”
“I can't help feeling there's something rather joyless and snobbish about this,” added another. “Christmas, of all things, shouldn't revolve around adult sensibilities of educational benefits and clutter-free houses.”
LISTEN: People now register gifts for their kids parties. Yep. (post continues after audio...)
“Christmas is magical for little ones,” said a third, “and I think opening quite a few presents is part of it.”
I have to agree. There are only a few years when kids’ eyes will light up at the sight of presents and you’ll hear that squeal of joy as they rip the wrapping off.
Sure, some toys end up gathering dust, but there are others that become truly beloved. Seeing a child fall asleep clutching a favourite teddy is priceless… even if you do sprain an ankle tripping over Barbie dolls on the way to tuck them in.
Do you agree? Should we be managing our children's expectations when it comes to Christmas presents?